Melanie Schuessler Bond Costume Design and Construction

Costume Design

With 30 years of professional experience, Melanie Bond has designed costumes for nearly 100 shows ranging from grand opera to modern drama to puppetry. Although she has a specialty in historic costume, she has designed all genres.

Click here for academic costume design.

Click here for professional costume design.

Costume Construction

45 years of stitching and 35 years of patterning and craftwork in a variety of contexts have included a broad range of techniques, from the historically accurate to the wildly theatrical. Melanie uses a combination of draping and flat patterning to achieve the best effect when creating patterns.

Click here for examples.


Melanie specializes in 16th-century clothing research and construction and has also dabbled in the fantasy Victorian world of Steampunk.

Click here for 16th Century Clothing.

Click here for Steampunk.


A focus on 16th-century clothing research has led Melanie along various avenues, usually involving the transcription and translation of wardrobe accounts. She is currently writing a book on the wardrobe of Mary, Queen of Scots.


Dressing the Scottish Court: Clothing in the Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, 1543-1553, Boydell and Brewer, 2019

Articles and Chapters

Fashion and Material Culture in the Tabletop of the Seven Deadly Sins Attributed to Hieronymus Bosch,” with John Block Friedman, Medieval Clothing and Textiles, vol. 16, 2020

Treason and Clothing in Sixteenth-Century England: The Case of Gregory 'Sweetlips' Botolf,” Refashioning Medieval and Early Modern Dress: A Tribute to Robin Netherton, ed. Gale Owen-Crocker and Maren Clegg Hyer, 2019

Costume Design for the Stage in the United States," Documenting Costume Design, ed. Nancy E. Friedland, 2010

French Hoods: The Development of a Sixteenth-Century Court Fashion,” Medieval Clothing and Textiles, vol. 5, 2009

Children’s Clothing in the Lisle Letters, 1533-1540,” Medieval Clothing and Textiles, vol. 3, 2007

Fashioning the Middle Ages: teaching medieval culture through clothing,” The Once and Future Classroom, 2007

Learn More

Interested in studying costume design and construction with me? Join us in the Entertainment Design and Technology Program at Eastern Michigan University!